Concept inventories for shape memory alloys and piezoelectric materials Conference Paper uri icon


  • New materials with attractive properties for design, so-called smart materials such as shape memory alloys and piezoelectric materials, are being introduced rapidly and incorporated into diverse applications. Since these materials change engineering practice, these materials are being introduced into undergraduate engineering curricula. However, the degree to which students understand concepts associated with these materials is difficult to assess. As the work by Hestenes and Halloun on the Force Concept Inventory has shown, students may pass science and engineering courses but still retain alternate conceptions about the topics presented in the courses. Therefore, substantial interest in concept inventory assessment instruments for many engineering subjects, e.g., materials, signals and systems, fluid mechanics, has been generated and numerous projects are underway. Since smart materials are being introduced into undergraduate engineering curricula, assessing students' understanding of these smart materials would be reasonable. Therefore, two new concept inventories, one on shape memory alloys and one on piezoelectric materials, are being developed as part of a Combined Research and Curriculum Development (CRCD) project at Texas A&M University. The paper will describe the background for concept inventories. Then, concept inventories for both types of materials will be described in parallel presentations. First, concepts associated with the material will be described and then sample questions designed to assess understanding of these concepts will be presented. Results from students who have taken preliminary versions of each concept inventory will be presented.

published proceedings

  • ASEE Annual Conference Proceedings

author list (cited authors)

  • Froyd, J., Caso, R., & Lagoudas, D

complete list of authors

  • Froyd, J||Caso, R||Lagoudas, D

publication date

  • October 2004